Commentary

Passive protagonist

Have you noticed that Dolly doesn’t do jack? Because that’s true. She mostly reacts rather than acts, and even then her reaction is usually…not normal.

Dolly was supposed to be passive because she’s just that: a doll. She’s Ichor’s original character, an idealistic image of herself from an alternative universe, she has little to no personality of her own continues Ichor’s cycle of passiveness.

Dolly just says “whoops” when she sees Pepper’s gruesome death. Nick basically admits he tried to attempt suicide in poppies, and she calls him a sleepyhead. She acts very obliviously and innocently about all the disturbing stuff that’s going on, as Ichor just wanted to distance herself from any negativity.

However, that was supposed to change gradually. Dolly would start freaking out and feeling miserable more and more as the plot progresses, Bastille and Nick’s deaths being the last drop, because you can ignore reality only for so long.

Anyways, all this symbolism is fine and good, but turned out that a one-note cardboard cutout that has nothing to contribute doesn’t make for a very interesting or relatable main character.

I tried to cop out of it, arguing with myself that the story isn’t really about Dolly anyway, it’s about all those people that were linked to Ichor and the events she went through. It’s not Dolly’s Awesome Adventure, it’s The Black Brick Road of OZ: the road that goes through that entire world and connects everyone. But still, Dolly is on-screen for long enough to make everyone even the tiniest bit bored and tired of her.

It’s especially a shame because the Oz books are notable for having some very active female protagonists. I mean, the book Dorothy bitch-slapped a lion for attacking her dog. It’s something that I didn’t really think about until it was pointed out much later, so I probably wouldn’t have written Dolly this way. Having a cool fearless hero persona makes more sense for Ichor anyway.

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